Ekutu Aukot, a former chair of Selection Panel, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of Kenya, said Africans must create a contest that will allow women to participate in political office up to the highest office in the land.
“Political contest is a male-dominated game so much so that when a woman wants to participate in politics, she meets disrespect. So the contest in which we operate is one thing that we must actually confront going forward,” he said.
He was speaking at a policy dialogue on gender equal participation and leadership in politics and electoral process in Ghana, organized by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and its partners.
The dialogue aims to deconstruct the role of political parties in promoting gender equal political participation and the role political parties can play in supporting women inclusion and participation in political processes at all levels.
It offered an opportunity to political parties, practitioners and advocates to interact and begin a process of building common group on improving gender balance in Ghana politics.
Recent political statistics show that Ghana currently ranks 150 out of 187 in the inter-parliamentary Union on women representation in parliament.
In Ghana, only 29 legislatures out of the current 275 are women, a situation seen as a clear contradiction when one compares Ghana’s democratic standing with the rest of Africa.
The Country Director of UNDP Dominic Sam called on Ghana to work towards ensuring that women are well represented in the political circles as leaders and decision-makers.
He was optimistic that through the debate, participants will examine and gain a better understanding of the issues — the challenge faced by women in their efforts to access political opportunities in Ghana. Enditem